Campaign To Dispel Myths About Arthritis

[title]

"Only old people get arthritis."  "Arthritis is just aches and pains. You just have to learn to live with it."  These are just two of the common misperceptions about arthritis. 

The reality is that two-thirds of the 50 million adults with arthritis are younger than 65 years old.

More than 300,000 children are affected by various forms of juvenile arthritis which can rob them of the joys of childhood.

In fact, some forms of arthritis are serious autoimmune conditions that result in more than 9,000 deaths each year.  Arthritis is the nation's leading cause of disability, and more frequently causes activity limitation than heart disease, cancer or diabetes. However, early and proper diagnosis, self-management and physical activity can help to reduce arthritis pain and improve overall health and well-being. 

The Arthritis Foundation plans to dispel these and other myths by launching the new multiyear, multimedia public awareness campaign, "Faces of Arthritis."  This powerful campaign features television and print public service ads which communicate the harsh realities of arthritis and refute the common stereotypes associated with the disease.  The "Faces of Arthritis" website (facesofarthritis.org)  educates as well as engages people to take action through the use of interactive tools. 

"Many people believe that arthritis is an inevitable part of aging, and there is nothing they can do about it," says Manuel Loya, CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, Pacific Region. "FacesofArthritis.org presents the truth about arthritis and empowers people to manage their arthritis by directing them to the extensive resources of the Arthritis Foundation."  He adds, "Physical activity, such as walking, is one way to manage arthritis pain. Visit arthritis.org to learn about programs such as "Walk with Ease" and  join your local Arthritis Walk to raise awareness and funds for a cure."